Wed, 29th Sep 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 23
 
Lot 23 - Maud Sumner (South Africa 1902-1985)

23

Maud Sumner (South Africa 1902-1985)
Clouds and shadows

oil on canvas

Signature details: signed; inscribed 'Botswana No.16' in another hand on the stretcher and inscribed with the artist's name and titled 'Seascapes' on an Everard Read Gallery label on the reverse

(Qty: 1)

101 x 81 cm; framed size: 126 x 106 x 2 cm

Provenance:

Everard Read, Johannesburg.

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Maud Sumner was a deeply contemplative and poetic artist. Born in Johannesburg, she left in 1922 to complete a degree in English literature at Oxford. Thereafter she spent a short period at Westminster Art School before deciding that it was Paris, not London where she ought to be. Leaving for France in 1926, she attended the Ateliers d’Art Sacré and, from 1934, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

In her early years, Sumner identified wholeheartedly with Paris and French art, often painting domestic, interior scenes in the French Intimist tradition. Later, she shifted her focus away from the material world to the exterior landscape and Africa’s wide-open spaces and barren beauty. While characteristically undated Clouds and Shadows is a fine example of the atmospheric landscapes that define Sumner’s mature style.

In 1953, the artist made her first trip to the Holy Land, travelling from Johannesburg by aircraft. The experience of this flight gave Sumner a new perspective of the landscape and Albert Werth[1], author and a previous Director of the Pretoria Art Museum, notes that from 1954 we find her, “painting pictures of deserts, of distant views of vast tracts of land, of the sky, and the stratosphere; an exalted vision which remained with her until the end of her artistic career”.

The view of the clouds and the shadows they cast on the deserted landscape below is one only experienced from a great height. Sumner would often add small details to her vast landscapes – a telephone pole, a treetop, or the corner of a roof – but Clouds and Shadows is completely devoid of any intrusion.

While recognisable as a landscape, the painting essentially celebrates empty space and silence. Maud Sumner once said, “My pictures speak while remaining silent”[2]. Silence was important to the artist and while her early works portrayed contemplative interior scenes Clouds and Shadows is a beautiful example of private meditation. An introspective and profound work evoking a mood of serenity and reflection.

[1] Werth, A. (1992). Maud Sumner: An appreciation. In Harmsen, F. Maud Sumner: Painter and Poet. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik (Pty) Ltd. P. 5.

[2] Harmsen, F. (1992). Maud Sumner: Painter and Poet. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik (Pty) Ltd. P. 9.

Estimate
R250,000 - R350,000
 

Buyers Premium

Place Bid
R
Register for Live Bidding

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

 

oil on canvas

Signature details: signed; inscribed 'Botswana No.16' in another hand on the stretcher and inscribed with the artist's name and titled 'Seascapes' on an Everard Read Gallery label on the reverse

(Qty: 1)

101 x 81 cm; framed size: 126 x 106 x 2 cm

Provenance:

Everard Read, Johannesburg.

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Maud Sumner was a deeply contemplative and poetic artist. Born in Johannesburg, she left in 1922 to complete a degree in English literature at Oxford. Thereafter she spent a short period at Westminster Art School before deciding that it was Paris, not London where she ought to be. Leaving for France in 1926, she attended the Ateliers d’Art Sacré and, from 1934, the Académie de la Grande Chaumière.

In her early years, Sumner identified wholeheartedly with Paris and French art, often painting domestic, interior scenes in the French Intimist tradition. Later, she shifted her focus away from the material world to the exterior landscape and Africa’s wide-open spaces and barren beauty. While characteristically undated Clouds and Shadows is a fine example of the atmospheric landscapes that define Sumner’s mature style.

In 1953, the artist made her first trip to the Holy Land, travelling from Johannesburg by aircraft. The experience of this flight gave Sumner a new perspective of the landscape and Albert Werth[1], author and a previous Director of the Pretoria Art Museum, notes that from 1954 we find her, “painting pictures of deserts, of distant views of vast tracts of land, of the sky, and the stratosphere; an exalted vision which remained with her until the end of her artistic career”.

The view of the clouds and the shadows they cast on the deserted landscape below is one only experienced from a great height. Sumner would often add small details to her vast landscapes – a telephone pole, a treetop, or the corner of a roof – but Clouds and Shadows is completely devoid of any intrusion.

While recognisable as a landscape, the painting essentially celebrates empty space and silence. Maud Sumner once said, “My pictures speak while remaining silent”[2]. Silence was important to the artist and while her early works portrayed contemplative interior scenes Clouds and Shadows is a beautiful example of private meditation. An introspective and profound work evoking a mood of serenity and reflection.

[1] Werth, A. (1992). Maud Sumner: An appreciation. In Harmsen, F. Maud Sumner: Painter and Poet. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik (Pty) Ltd. P. 5.

[2] Harmsen, F. (1992). Maud Sumner: Painter and Poet. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik (Pty) Ltd. P. 9.

The overall condition is good. The paint is slightly dry though bright and stable, with stretcher bar marks in areas.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

Request condition report

 
 

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

Click here to download our absentee bidding form.

Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Wed, 29th Sep 2021

 

Aspire Art Auctions brings a significant and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art to auction in Cape Town. The sale stars exceptional works by many of South Africa’s big signatures, including, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Penny Siopis, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo and J.H Pierneef, amongst others. Also featured is an exciting collection of contemporary artists from elsewhere in Africa – Patrick Bongoy and Zemba Luzamba from the Congo, Moustapha Baïdi Oumarou from Cameroon and Gerald Chukwuma from Nigeria.

The auction is the first at Aspire’s new premises in De Waterkant. The 132 lot sale will be held over two days with a Modern Session on the 29th September and a Contemporary Session on the 30th September.

 

Download the Telephone/Absentee Bidding Form

 

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

View all lots in this sale